Winifred Lamb

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Winifred Lamb (1894-1963) was a British art historian, archeologist, and museum curator who specialised in Greek, Roman, Anatolian cultures and artifacts. The bulk of her career was spent as the Honorary Keeper of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the University of Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum from 1918 - 1958.[1] She was the first female archeologist involved in the British Anatolian excavations,[2] and the Fitwilliam museum states that she was a "generous benefactor and raising the profile of the collections through groundbreaking research, acquisitions and publications."[3]

The daughter of Edmund Lamb, a former Member of Parliament, and Mabel Lamb, Winifred Lamb attended Newnham College and Cambridge University, studying Classics, earning her degree in 1917. She joined the British Naval Intelligence Department and served throughout World War I. It was here that Lamb met John Beazley, a renowned archeologist also working in British Intelligence, who encouraged her in her research.[4] Her fieldwork and excavation skills were honed at the British School at Athens, which she began attending in 1920.[5] Lamb took part in excavations in Mycenae, Sparta, and Macedonia. She then led her own excavations on Lesbos and in Anatolia. Her interest in the area eventually helped establish the British Institute of Archeology at Ankara.[6]

She is the author of numerous books on Greek and Roman antiquities, including the 1929 publication Greek and Roman Bronzes, which was standard reading for studies on the subject.[7] During World War II, a German rocket hit her London apartment, injuring her badly. Her work at the museum continued through 1958, however, and she died seven years after retiring.


  1. ^ Fitzwilliam Museum Antiquities
  2. ^ Dictionary of Art Historians
  3. ^ Fitzwilliam Museum Antiquities
  4. ^ Dictionary of Art Historians
  5. ^ David W. J. Gill. Anatolian Studies. Vol. 50, (2000)Preview
  6. ^ Getzel M. Cohen, Martha Sharp Joukowsky. Breaking Ground: Pioneering Women Archaeologists. University of Michigan 2004.
  7. ^ Dictionary of Art Historians